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3. Knowledge of Communication Tools

NHS staff should be trained in the range of supports that are available to support someone with a communication support need.  These may be high-tech resources, simple resources such as pictures and photos, or changing the way you talk - for example, altering your vocabulary, or changing the pace of interaction.

Now watch the two related video clips:

Video 3: Knowledge of Communication Tools

Donald, Anne Marie and Grant will show you some of the communication tools and why it is important you are aware and of them and have the knowledge to support their use.


So you need to think...

Have I the skills to work with the person?

Do I stop and think about how I communicate and reflect on what I can do to improve my communication

Are there things I can do that will make it easier for this person to communicate with me?

Do I need to get some more support?

Do I need to develop my skills further and attend further communication training?

Remember that poor communication lies at the heart of many of the complaints about the health service.


The following are a selection of web resources that can support your practice in making communication even better:

 - Comprehensive tool kit on Communication Support Needs [link]

Alternative and Augmentative Communication:

 - Overview of AAC [link]
 - Comprehensive website about communication disability [link]
Supporting children and young people who have no speech or whose speech is difficult to understand [link]
 - Find out about Talking Mats [link]
 - Find out about Communication Passports [link]

Condition specific

 - Top tips for talking to people with sensory difficulties [link]
 - Top tips for talking to people who stammer [link]
 - Top tips for talking to people with aphasia [link]
 - On-line training course re communication and aphasia [link]
 - Talking to talking someone who is deaf-blind [link]
 - Talking to someone who has Alzheimer's [link]

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